Sigsand Manuscript


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The Goddess of Death

by William Hope Hodgson

 It was in the latter end of November when I reached T_____worth to find the little town almost in a panic. In answer to my half-jesting inquiry as to whether the French were attempting to land, I was told a harrowing tale of some restless statute that had a habit of running amuck among the worthy townspeople. Nearly a dozen had already fallen victims, the first having been pretty Sally Morgan, the town belle.
  These and other matters I learnt. Wherever I went it was the same story. “Good Heavens! what ignorance, what superstition!” This I thought, imagining that they were the dupes of some murderous rogue. Afterwards I was to change my mind. I gathered that the tragedies had all happened in some park near by, where, during the day, this Walking Marble rested innocently enough upon its pedestal.
 Though I scouted the story of the walking statue, I was greatly interested in the matter. Already it had come to me to look into it and show these benighted people how mistaken they had been; besides, the thing promised some excitement. As I strolled through the town I laughed, picturing to myself the absurdity of some people believing in a walking marble statute. Pooh! What fools there are! Arriving at my hotel, I was pleased to learn from my landlord that my old friend and schoolmate, William Turner, had been staying there for some time.
That evening while I was at dinner he burst into my room, and was delighted at seeing me.
 “I’ve suppose you’ve heard of the town bogey by now?” he said presently, dropping his voice. “It’s a dangerous enough bogey, and we’re all puzzled to explain how on earth it has escaped detection so long. Of course,” he went on,   “this story about the walking statue is all rubbish, though it’s surprising what a number of people believe it.”
 “What do you say to trying our hands at catching it?” I said. “There would be a little excitement, and we should be doing the town a public benefit.”
 Will smiled. “I’m game if you are, Herton―we could take a stroll in the park to-night, if you like; perhaps we might see something.”
 “Right,” I answered heartily. “What time do you propose going?”
 Will pulled out his watch. “It’s half-past eight now; shall we say eleven o’clock? It ought to be late enough then.”
 I assented and invited him to join me at my wine. He did so, and we passed the time away very pleasantly in reminiscences of old times.



ウィリアム・ホープ・ホジスン 著

shigeyuki 訳


"The Goddess of Death"
Written by William Hope Hodgson
Transrated by shigeyuki